The US Fish And Wildlife Service Changes Rules For Alaska
When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced rule changes for the 77-million-acres of National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska on Aug. 3, 2016, what American’s really witnessed was a wholesale power grab by the federal government to take, illegally, states’ rights and this will not be limited to Alaska.
Ashe, who was appointed by President Obama to lead the FWS and the scientific management of wildlife life in this country, immediately Tweeted his thanks to Wayne Pacelle and the Humane Society of the United States for their help in making it happen.
HSUS’ spin on the entire rule changes centers on aerial shooting of predators by the government and the trapping and hunting of apex predators, such as wolves, coyotes and grizzly and black bears. Emotional grandstanding which to bang the fundraising drum no doubt, but the crux of the argument for both is exactly what makes this move hypocritical.
Both Washington, D.C., residents argue that wildlife belongs to all Americans, and therefore the voice of all Americans should be represented in how Alaska manages federal lands within its borders. They are wrong.
Wildlife does belong to all Americans, but is entrusted to the goals of state fish and game agencies to manage in accordance with the wishes of its residents. Hunting and Fishing licenses are purchased at the federal level. They are purchased at the state level. We also don’t have a national management program for deer, pheasants, elk, turkeys or any other wildlife. That management is left to the states.
Further, this wasn’t a move reflective of the voice of any American, much less all Americans. It was a bureaucratic move by a federal agency, by force, backed by a special interest group (one who 98% of Americans disagree with their ultimate agenda).
What is so egregiously disingenuous is that while they publicly tout the end of aerial predator management as representing the voice of all Americans, what they fail to mention is that the rule changes include provisions that literally strip Americans of their voice when it comes to management of the National Wildlife Refuge. Ashe and Pacelle fail to publicly acknowledge that the rule changes include:
• Doubling the length of emergency closures of refuge lands from 30 to 60 days
• Removing requirements for public hearings on such closures
• Complete elimination of the maximum length of a temporary closure
If Ashe and Pacelle were being honest with their Tweets and blogs, they’d say what these rule changes actually were: a successful power grab by the federal government to advance an anti-hunting agenda in the bulwark state for hunters’ rights; an offensive move that will allow them to invade Western states and assume control of large swaths of federal public lands to eliminate hunting, trapping and other management methods with ease.
To take it further, it begs the question of what exactly is FWS’ position on apex predator management. In one breath FWS has made sweeping rule changes to eliminate their management in Alaska and to silence the public in the act. In the next breath FWS stands with the Sportsmen’s Alliance in a lawsuit to return wolves throughout the Great Lakes to state management. A conflict of interest, no matter how you look at it.
What we have here are two Washington, D.C. suits who talk out of both sides of their mouth. This doubletalk comes naturally to those inside the Beltway, but which is dangerous for those who have to live with the consequences of their agendas.
Banning Mountain Lion And Bobcat Hunting In Arizona
On January 26, 2017, Arizona State Senator Steve Farley (D-Tucson) has proposed legislation that would ban mountain lion and bobcat hunting for Arizona sportsmen. Senate Bill 1182 would categorize both cats as protected.
Senate Bill 1182 handcuffs scientific wildlife management and endangers both the public and balance of wildlife within Arizona’s managed ecosystem
Mountain lions and bobcats are currently managed as game animals by the Arizona Fish and Game Department, and regulated hunts are tightly controlled. During mountain lion season, for instance, anyone who takes a cougar must present a skull to an inspector from the department within 48 hours. The data collected from hunters is used for conservation efforts, to better understand the population and to set future season dates, lengths, harvest quotas and age/sex limits.
“This is nothing more than an anti-hunting legislator acting as a pawn for the animal-rights movement,” said Brian Lynn, vice president of marketing and communications. “When anti-hunting groups identified five states to ban mountain lion hunting in last year, and then this year legislation is introduced, you have to ask if the people of Arizona are truly being represented in their legislature. Playing politics with wildlife management has dire consequences for everyone in the state, not to mention the environment.”
Senate Bill 1182 is the next step to fulfill a goal of anti-hunting groups to end the pursuit of mountain lions and other felines by anti-hunting groups. The Humane Society of the United States has focused on the western states for years: they successfully financed a 1990 ballot campaign in California that protected mountain lions from any hunting at all, and then followed that with a ban on the use of dogs to purse lions in Oregon in 1994 and used the same bankrupting ballot-initiative tactic to fund a ban on the use of dogs and traps for mountain lions, bobcats and lynx in Washington state in 1996.